Centrolepis minima


Centrolepis: pointed scale
minima: Very small

Common Name(s)


Current Conservation Status

2012 - At Risk - Naturally Uncommon

Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012
The conservation status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2012 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS). This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2009 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, Paul D. Champion, Shannel P. Courtney, Peter B. Heenan, John W. Barkla, Ewen K. Cameron, David A. Norton and Rodney A. Hitchmough. File size: 792KB

Previous Conservation Status

2009 - At Risk - Naturally Uncommon
2004 - Range Restricted


2012 - Sp


Centrolepis minima Kirk



Flora Category

Vascular - Native

NVS Species Code


The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.

Structural Class

Monocotyledonous Herbs


Gaimardia minima (Kirk) Cheeseman; Pseudalepyrum minimum (Kirk) Dandy


Endemic. New Zealand: South Island (Westland, Canterbury, Southland, Fiordland).


Lowland to subalpine. Aquatic or semi-aquatic, usually partially buried such that only the leaf tips are visible in fine sand and silt along the margin of lakes and small tarns.


Annual, rather gracile and fine-leaved, loosely tufted, often partially or fully submerged herbs forming diffuse patches up to 20 mm high in fine sand and silt. Roots numerous, fine, > upper part of plant. Leaves 5–20 mm long, < 0.5 mm. wide, green or wine-red, crowded at stem base; sheaths transparent, glabrous, slightly wider than lamina. Flowering stems slightly < leaves, c.0.5 mm wide, bright red. Glume-like bracts 2, ± opposite, ovate, papillose, the outer mucronate, almost completely enclosing the smaller obtuse one; each bract enclosing 1, rarely 2 pseudanthia; hyaline scales 0. Male 1 or 0 in a pseudanthium, usually only 1 within each glume-like bract. Female 2–6, superposed in 2 series; styles connate at the base

Similar Taxa

Recognised by the diffuse, tufted rather than cushion forming, annual rather than perennial growth habit and very fine, gracile, green or wine red, densely crowded glabrous leaves. Plants are easily overlooked as they are usually buried in sand or silt such that only the leaf tips are visible.


January – March


March – April

Propagation Technique

Difficult. Should not be removed from the wild.


A Naturally Uncommon, sparsely distributed, range-restricted endemic. There are no obvious threats though potentially it is threatened by introduced aquatic weeds at some sites.

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Life Cycle and Dispersal

Seeds are wind dispersed (Thorsen et al., 2009).

Where To Buy

Not commercially available


Fact sheet oprepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange 14 August 2006. Description adapted from Moore & Edgar (1970)

References and further reading

Moore, L.B.; Edgar, E. 1970: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. II. Government Printer, Wellington.

Thorsen, M. J.; Dickinson, K. J. M.; Seddon, P. J. 2009. Seed dispersal systems in the New Zealand flora. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 11: 285-309

This page last updated on 24 May 2016